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AUK IT Team Presents at the Ellucian Live Conference In New Orleans

The Information Technology (IT) Department at the American University of Kuwait (AUK) has been selected to present at the Ellucian Live conference in New Orleans, USA, for its outstanding implementation of Ellucian technology at the university over the past two years. Ellucian Live is a technology conference that brings together over eight thousand participants from higher education institutions around the world to discuss technology in education.

Rusty Bruns, Chief Information Officer, and Hussein Diab, Database Operations Manager, are expected to present on behalf of AUK during the conference; one of only two presentations from the Middle East. Their presentation, "Workflow - Going Green," will highlight the implementation of Ellucian Workflow, software constructed to help streamline processes and reduce paperwork, and share other steps the University has been taking to minimize its environmental footprint.

Ellucian offers a wide selection of products and services aimed to assist in facilitating processes in institutions of higher education. To help streamline the process of course override requests, AUK turned to Ellucian Workflow, software that automates the process, eliminating paper wastage and improving processing time. In the Fall 2014 semester, the Office of the Registrar received and processed nearly 2,000 overrides, each one required multiple signatures on the paper-based requests - a time consuming and environmentally unsound process. After implementing Ellucian Workflow, which is fully integrated with AUK's Banner System and is completely electronic, the processing of overrides went from being a 2-day process to a 10-minute one.

Applying the Ellucian Workflow software is part of an ongoing effort by AUK to be more environmentally conservative. In 2011, AUK began phasing out inkjet printers and replacing them with Xerox multifunction printers that require security codes to operate. This enabled the university to track the usage of printers and monitors paper consumption. AUK has also been encouraging instructors to start using Moodle, a software that allows them to personalize their coursework electronically, as an alternative to paper-based teaching methods. As a result, there are now almost 54,000 documents uploaded to Moodle and around 57 faculty members teaching 123 sections on the software.

This 3-pronged plan has not only helped save the environment; it has saved the University money, resources and time. AUK reduced printing by approximately two million pages within the first year of applying the plan, saving the equivalent of 250 trees and effectively cutting the cost of printing by half, making AUK eligible for refunds worth thousands of dollars from Xerox.

Presenting at Ellucian Live provides a platform for AUK to share these eco-friendly technological strategies it has been applying with other educational institutions, and to support efforts to reduce waste and increase productivity worldwide. The event also includes an award ceremony for the best implementation of Ellucian technologies, a variety of keynote speakers such as Sal Khan, Founder of Khan Academy, and Reshma Saujani, Founder of Girls Who Code and a learning lab where participants can test-drive a number of cutting edge educational technologies.  

Rusty Bruns, Chief Information Officer, AUK

Hussein Diab, Database Operations Manager, AUK

Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 6th April 2015

Photography by the Office of Public Affairs (C) 2015

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